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Report: LSU’s Morris Claiborne scores a four on Wonderlic test

04.03.12 at 9:38 am ET
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Before the NFL Draft each year, potential draft picks are put through a gauntlet of tests, including the combine, medical testing and the now famous Wonderlic exam, an intelligence test consisting of 50 multiple choice questions that must be answered in 12 minutes.

An average score on the exam is a 21, but each year, there are outliers who impress with their high scores (Harvard product Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a 48 on the test, the highest score among active players) and sometimes, their low scores (Vince Young reportedly scored a seven on the exam before retaking the test and receiving a 13).

According to multiple sources, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne set a new low this season when he scored a four on the exam, meaning in 12 minutes, he answered four of 50 questions correctly. Claiborne, a junior, has supposedly been enrolled in college classes for the past three years. According to LSU, he is majoring in general studies. He is expected by many scouts to be a top-5 pick in this year’s draft.

In order to see what players like Claiborne and Fitzpatrick had to endure while taking the Wonderlic, WEEI’s own Rob Bradford attempted the test two years ago and put former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell to the test as well. To see how they did, check out this video:

Read More: Morris Claiborne, NFL Draft 2012,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard

04.02.12 at 8:27 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

ALFONZO DENNARD

Position: Cornerback

School: Nebraska

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: All-Big Ten first team (2011), Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year (2011), Sporting News Preseason second-team All-America (2011), ESPN All-Big 12 first team (2010), Coaches and AP All-Big 12 second team (2010)

What he brings: Dennard shows great quickness and agility, which allows him to close in on passes and excel in all types of coverage. He is very aggressive, but sometimes that is to a fault, as he has a history of jumping on play fakes and therefore falls behind in his coverage. He displays strong physicality in his coverage and knows how to make a play on the ball without drawing a pass interference call. He obviously lacks height and only had four interceptions in his collegiate career. He sometimes gambles a bit on plays and has a strange backpedal, but overall he does a good job of staying with the receiver and recognizes routes well. Dennard has a bit of a temper that he needs to learn to channel in a more productive manner, as he was ejected from the Capital One Bowl for a fight with South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: Dennard had 31 total tackles and broke up six passes in the 2011 season. He has 91 career tackles, four career interceptions and four career quarterback hurries. Dennard hurt his draft status a bit by his play in the Senior Bowl practice, when he struggled to turn and run to catch up with receivers. He pulled out of the Senior Bowl with a hip flexor injury, so it was unclear if his struggles were injury-related or an actual issue against more elite competition. Dennard does have a history of injuries, as he missed time with a shoulder injury in 2009, a concussion in 2010, and a pulled muscle in his right leg 2011.

Recent Articles:

Senior Bowl Monday practice: Tough day for Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard vital to Nebraska Cornhuskers success

Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard relying on Redskins S Gomes

Video: Here’s a package of highlights of Dennard.

Read More: 2012 Potential Patriots, Alfonzo Dennard, NFL Draft 2012,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Clemson DT Brandon Thompson

04.01.12 at 6:12 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

BRANDON THOMPSON

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Clemson

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 310 pounds

Achievements: All-ACC second team (2011)

What he brings: Generally regarded as the top defensive tackle in the 2012 draft, Thompson is heralded for his burst off the snap and his good lateral agility that helps him chase down the quarterback. He is a strong anchor for the defensive line but doesn’t have the bulk to stand up well against a double-team. He needs to learn to use his hands effectively, but his strength and ability to move quickly on the rush make him an effective player. Thompson could play as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 system or as a defensive end in a 3-4 formation. He is an evolving player and started to blossom in the second half of his junior season, making 43 of his 56 tackles on the season in Clemson’s final seven games.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Thompson was nicknamed “Yams” because of his huge thighs that can clog rushing lanes. He won the 2010 Strength Training Award among Clemson defensive tackles and has a 450-pound bench press. Thompson finished fourth on the Tigers with 77 tackles and tied for the team lead in quarterback hurries with 18. He was third on the team with 2.5 sacks.

Recent articles:

Brandon Thompson interview

Mike Tanier’s Senior Bowl Report: Wednesday’s South Team Practice

College Football 2011: Brandon Thompson wants to be next in NFL pipeline

Video: Here’s Thompson against Boston College.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Brandon Thompson,

NFL Draft Potential Patriots: USC DE Nick Perry

03.31.12 at 12:08 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

NICK PERRY

Position: Defensive end

School: USC

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: All-Pac 12 first team (2011)

What he brings: Perry is an agile pass rusher who impressed in the Pac-12 with a league-leading 9.5 sacks in the 2011 season. His is a player who is aggressive on every snap and has a no-quit mentality, an attitude sure to please Bill Belichick. Perry also has the potential to be converted from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 linebacker, but his inexperience at that position means he may need some time to adjust before becoming an effective player. Perry does not have the size expected out of his position, but he makes up for that with his quick step and ability to read and react swiftly to shifting players and changing plays.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Perry can be inconsistent at times, looking like a sure first-rounder in some games and a second- or third-rounder in others. For example, Perry had 10 tackles and a sack in an Oct. 1 win over Arizona but just two assists and no sacks in a Sept. 17 win over Syracuse. In addition to leading the league in sacks, Perry led the team in forced fumbles (3) and recorded one fumble recovery. He finished fifth on the Trojans with 54 tackles in the 2011 season.

Recent articles:

USC defensive end Nick Perry to enter NFL draft

Nick Perry has plenty to consider

Video: Here’s Perry against Washington.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Nick Perry,

The latest ‘It Is What It Is’ Podcast breaks down the Patriots offseason

03.30.12 at 1:01 pm ET
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In the latest edition of the It Is What It Is podcast, WEEI.com’s Christopher Price and Jerry Thornton break down New England’s activity this offseason, including what the acquisition of Brandon Lloyd means for the Patriots’ passing game and where New England stands on both sides of the ball. They also give their take on the busy NFL offseason, including Peyton Manning to the Broncos, Tim Tebow to the Jets and what’s going to happen to the Saints because of the recent bounty scandal. Click HERE to listen.

Read More: Brandon Lloyd, Christopher Price, Jerry Thornton, Peyton Manning

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Montana CB Trumaine Johnson

03.30.12 at 8:53 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

TRUMAINE JOHNSON

Position: Cornerback

School: Montana

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: AFCA FCS All-America (2010, 2011), AP first-team All-America (2010, 2011), Walter Camp Football Foundation FCS All-America (2010, 2011).

What he brings: Johnson has good size for a cornerback and has a reputation as a playmaker with good speed. He has shown strength in preventing yards after the catch and stopping the run. He would be a good player to develop in the Patriots’ shallow secondary, but he needs work when it comes to reacting better and faster in zone coverage, as scouts agree that Johnson struggles to change directions fast enough to break up passes or catch up to his man. Johnson can be a multidimensional player, as he returned kickoffs in 2010.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: Johnson finished the 2011 season tied for third on the team in solo tackles (35) and sixth in total tackles (54). He registered two interceptions in his senior season to finish his collegiate career with 15 interceptions.

Johnson has a track record of discipline problems, as he missed nine games in 2008-09 in part due to a suspension related to an alleged fight outside a fraternity house. In October 2011, Johnson was tased and arrested after allegedly attempting to resist arrest at a party. He was charged with obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He pleaded no contest to those charges as part of a plea deal.

Recent articles:

WEEI.com at the Combine: Trumaine Johnson could be Patriots kind of cornerback

2 Griz football players plead no contest to disorderly conduct

Former Grizzlies prepare for NFL

Video: Here’s Johnson against Central Arkansas on Dec. 3.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Trumaine Johnson,

Gronk talks about the injury, the Super Bowl and the offseason changes in the AFC

03.29.12 at 8:50 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski has made the rounds the last few days — everything from the ESPN ‘€œcar wash’€ to slinging donuts down in Foxboro — and on Thursday night, he and his brothers stopped for some quality time at the NFL Network. The Patriots tight end sat down with Andrew Siciliano to talk about his injury, the Super Bowl and some of the offseason changes in the AFC East. Thanks to our pals at the NFL Network for some of the highlights (To check out video of the two interviews, click here and here.):

On if he agrees with the argument that Super Bowl XLIV would have been different if he had been healthy: ‘€œNot necessarily. I was out there, I was giving everything I had and when you’€™re out there playing in the game, you’€™re accountable for your teammates, you’€™re accountable for your play. I was just out there giving 100 percent, everything I had and no excuses. That was the situation that happened. If I was healthy, it could have maybe gone a different way. If I was healthy, it could have gone a positive way, so you just never know that the outcome is. That was the situation; there is not even any point in thinking of what might have happened because that was the situation and there is no changing it from here on out.’€

On if he agrees with the argument that if he had been healthy then he would have been able to get to the Hail Mary at the end of the game: ‘€œWell, then you could also say if I was healthy we could have maybe been up then. If it would have been a whole different outcome throughout the whole game, [maybe] there would have been no Hail Mary. It’€™s just crazy situations. There are no excuses; the Giants are a great team and they have a great players. Just unfortunately that was the situation; that’€™s what you have to deal with, that’€™s what you have to play with. From here on out just trying to get healthy now to make sure I’€™m 100 percent coming into next season.’€

On if it is fair to say that he was a decoy in Super Bowl XLIV: ‘€œNot necessarily. We were out there playing our game; you heard it because I think the one Giants defender said it over the microphone. I wouldn’€™t say so. I was out there playing the whole game, out there doing everything I could and running all of the routes. Unfortunately we just didn’€™t come up with the win. We have to move onto next year, get healthy so next year we can keep on building and keep on getting better.’€

On Tim Tebow joining the Jets: ‘€œIt’€™s just bringing a lot of media to our division. He brings a lot of media to the house of the Jets, too. It’€™s crazy. We might be the most talked about division now; we have Mario Williams with the Bills, Tebow with the Jets ‘€“ all of these big-name players are coming into our division. It’€™s just going to make it a lot of fun this year.’€
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Siciliano, Rob Gronkowski,
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